What is Live Commerce and How Is It Shaping E-Commerce?


As the e-commerce landscape continues to evolve, one of the biggest recent trends has been the rise of live commerce.
Live commerce, or live shopping which combines streaming video with e-commerce, is revolutionizing the way consumers shop.

What is Live Commerce?

Live commerce is the fusion of online shopping and live streaming.
It’s the process of selling products online and checkout via live video, often performed by the sellers or in collaboration with influencers or creators.
Live commerce goes by many names—live selling, live shopping, live stream e-commerce—and falls under the larger category of shoppable video.
You would need certain tools to make live commerce successful, such as a live video shopping tool, live chat, and integration.
These tools allow buyers to engage and interact with the brand at the same time, and buy things through a live stream without having to leave the video.

Why Should Brands Adopt Live Commerce?

Retail and e-commerce brands should continue to innovate and embrace new marketing ways in order to succeed. It’s now essential for them to engage customers online and provide a consistent experience across all platforms. They need to identify new opportunities for customer interaction that’s interactive and entertaining.
This is where live commerce comes into the picture. It helps to bridge the gap between brands and customers by increasing transparency and communication.
With its ability to engage customers in a fun and interactive way, live commerce can be an incredibly powerful tool for increasing brand awareness, generating buzz, and driving sales.
To understand this better, let’s look at some major benefits of live commerce:

Benefits of Live E-Commerce

The rise of live streaming e-commerce has been nothing short of meteoric.
It’s estimated that the live streaming market will be worth US$ 4,290 million by 2028.
It’s estimated that in 2026, livestream e-commerce sales in the United States alone would reach 55 billion dollars.

Source: Statista

Growing popularity of live shopping streamed on brands’ own websites and social media has made it possible for companies to see the potential of live commerce.
There are a number of benefits of using live stream for e-commerce:

  • Better representation of products:
    Live streaming allows businesses to showcase their products in a more interactive and engaging way. Customers are no longer just passively scrolling through a website – they’re able to actually see the product in action and get a sense for how it works.
    This is a great way to increase conversion rates and boost sales.
  • Higher and better engagement with customers:
    Another benefit of live streaming in e-commerce is that it provides an opportunity for businesses to build deeper relationships with their customers. Through live chat and Q&A sessions, businesses can get to know their customers on a more personal level, answer questions in real-time and build a deeper level of trust.
    This is important because customers are more likely to purchase from businesses that they feel a connection with.
  • Increase in sales:
    Surveys show that live streaming can increase conversion rates by as much as 30%. Live stream shopping allows customers to understand its features and benefits more clearly. This can make the product more appealing and increase the likelihood that the customer will make a purchase.
    The process often involves a host who can answer questions and provide additional information about the product in real time. This can help alleviate any doubts or concerns that the customer may have.
    Plus, live stream shopping can create a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out), leading to higher conversion rates.
  • live streaming as a marketing tool:
    Live commerce can also be used as a powerful marketing tool. It can be used to generate buzz around new products, launch new collections, and drive traffic to a website or online store.
    In addition, customers can share links to live stream shopping programs or products which can further increase brand awareness and sales.
  • Reduced return rates:
    According to reports, the general e-commerce return rate is 30%, and 22% of customers return products because the received product looks different.
    Live stream shopping can be an effective way to combat e-commerce returns. That’s because buyers can see the product in action and ask questions to know more about the product, clarify doubts before ordering it, lowering the chances of returns.
  • Cross promotion of products
    Live selling offers an opportunity for cross promotion because it allows businesses to partner with influencers and key opinion leaders to host the shows. They often have a large social media following, which businesses can leverage to promote their brand and products during the live shopping event.
    By effectively utilizing live selling for cross promotion, businesses can reach a wider audience and potentially boost their overall sales.

How Live Commerce is Transforming the Future of Retail

Live commerce is gaining traction in major economies from around the globe.

Live Commerce in China

The coming of Alibaba’s Taobao Live in May 2016 signaled the beginning of a new stage in sales.
In 2020, the first 30 minutes of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day presales campaign on Taobao Live generated $7.5 billion in total transaction value.
Since then, live commerce quickly became a dependable digital tool for increasing customer engagement and sales.
It is estimated that the market size of live streaming commerce in China will continue to grow rapidly and reach US$720 billion by 2023.
Live shopping isn’t a new concept in China, it swiftly became one of the most popular ways for many small and big brands to adopt this technology after COVID-19.
While Gen-Z and Millennials have historically pushed the trend, middle-aged Chinese and seniors are now following suit.
About 37% of Chinese online customers made live stream purchases in 2019. Live commerce sales are further expected to reach $423 billion in 2022.
Snacks are the highest selling products in live stream e-commerce, in addition to cosmetics, beauty and personal care, apparel, food, footwear, and wine among other popular product categories.

Live stream shopping in China allows local business owners like craftsmen, artisans, and farmers to get rid of excess inventory, and gives way to small businesses to reach customers.
Live commerce in China has also propelled the rise of live stream influencers. About 12.34 million individuals worked as live streamers in 2020.

Hosts enjoy celebrity-like status, host their own shows, and promote products from brands they partner with.

Live Commerce in the US

Live commerce in the US is still in its early days but even then, it has already gained significant popularity and traction among consumers and businesses alike. Many companies have begun to incorporate live streaming into their marketing and sales strategies, and the trend is likely to continue to grow in the coming years.
Although early applications didn’t fully utilize interactive video technology, TV shopping shows like the Home Shopping Network, Jewelry Television (JTV), and QVC were among the first to introduce live video-based shopping online.
Amazon debuted Amazon Live in 2019. Imagine the Home Shopping Network in the digital age, with icons flashing on the screen whenever a transaction is completed.
The role of social media in live commerce shopping in the US is enormous. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok are major players.
According to Coresight Research, YouTube is the most preferred platform for live stream shopping with 30.2% consumers using this in 2021.

However, a few other specialized live streaming platforms rank as well, such as PopShop Live, NTWRK, Twitch, and ShopShops.
Coresight Research predicts that live streaming e-commerce penetration will grow by more than five times between 2020 and 2026 in the US.

What Developments can We Expect for Live Commerce in the Recent Future?

We can expect to see the following trends in live commerce:
Increase in the use of micro- and nano-influencers. Instead of working with mega celebrities, micro- and nano- influencers with a few thousand dedicated followers can generate more sales and better performance at lower cost.

More sectors are going to adopt live commerce. As live commerce expands, it’s likely that new sectors will begin to use live streaming technology. 

Metaverse, AR, and VR. Shopping experience can be enhanced with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga‍, Gucci, Nike have already expanded into Metaverse and more brands are expected to join in the coming years.

How to Launch a Live Event That Drives Engagement and Conversions

Launching a successful live event is a great way to engage with your audience and drive conversions. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choose the Right Platform: 

The first step is to choose a live streaming platform that is easy to use and has the features you need. Some popular options include YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Twitch.
Or better yet, build a live e-commerce site or marketplace, if you don’t have one already. And host live shopping right on your website and stream it across social media and elsewhere your customers are. 
(Read the next point to learn about how to create your own live commerce website)

Plan Your Event

Before you start streaming, it’s important to have a clear plan for what you’ll be doing during the event. This could include giving a presentation, answering questions from viewers, or showing off your products.

Promote Your Event

Promotion activities for your live events include sharing it on social media, emailing to your subscribers, and reaching out to influencers or partners who might be interested in promoting it to their audience.

Co-host With Influencers and Creators

Teaming up with co-hosts, creators, and influencers can help a brand reach a wider audience and gain exposure to new potential customers. 
Collaborating with others can help to generate fresh and unique content that’s interesting and engaging.

Engage With Your Audience

During the event, it’s important to keep your audience engaged by answering their questions, responding to comments, and encouraging them to share the event with their friends. This will help to build a sense of community and drive more conversions.

Offer Exclusive Deals and Flash Sales

Exclusive deals and flash sales can be an effective way to drive sales and engage viewers. By offering special discounts or bonuses that are only available during the live show, you can create a sense of urgency and capitalize on FOMO. Additionally, you can use countdown timers or other visual elements to show viewers how much time they have to take advantage of the deals before they expire.

Follow Up After The Event

After the event is over, it’s important to follow up with your audience to thank them for participating and to encourage them to take action. This could include sharing links to your product or service, offering special deals, or inviting them to join your email list.

How to Get Started With Your Own Live E-Commerce Platform?

To get started with live commerce, you need a reliable platform that not only helps you set up a video-based e-commerce platform but also gives all the essential features and tools, such as:

  • Hosting live sessions.
  • Influencer collaboration.
  • live stream on social media.
  • Shoppable videos.
  • Shipping integration.
  • Payments integration.
  • Email marketing integration.
  • CRM

Not surprisingly, Vimmi’s video-based e-commerce platform as a service (ePAAS) offers all these features and more so you can enjoy uninterrupted service and grow your online selling business.

Benefits of Hosting Live Streaming on Your Own Website:

There are several reasons why live streaming should be hosted on your website rather than always relying on social media and other e-commerce platforms or marketplaces like Amazon.
Hosting on your website allows you to have full control over the content and the experience for your viewers.
This means you can customize the look and feel of the live stream to align with your brand, and you can also control the interactions and engagement with viewers. 
Live shopping on your website can also help you direct viewers to other pages and content on your site, which increase engagement and conversions. 
Additionally, it can help drive traffic and generate leads for your business by improving search engine optimization (SEO) and online visibility. This can make it easier for potential customers to find your business and learn more about what you have to offer.
Live shopping on your website will enable you to collect data about all users so that you can retarget them with promotions. You also get information about people who dropped off during the checkout process—so, again, incentivise them to complete their purchase.
Live streaming on your website also ensures your business doesn’t suffer when there’s an outage. In 2021, Amazon’s website was down and it cost the platform $34 million in sales.
If you create your own e-commerce website and run video shopping and live streams there, the matter will be in your hands and you don’t have to depend on others for selling products.

Here Are a Few Ways Vimmi Can Help You With:

Build an Online video-based E-commerce store or Marketplace

While building a video-based e-commerce store or marketplace can be a difficult process, it can be made easier with the right technology and resources. Vimmi offers a video-based e-commerce store or a marketplace platform that can help you get started quickly and efficiently. With Vimmi, you can get access to the right infrastructure, resources, and guidance to build a successful online platform.

Live streaming with Interactive Features

Low latency and high interactivity move the needle in live commerce. Vimmi technology  enables quick video delivery with dynamic and interactive experiences with the help of live chat, comments, emoticons, and bids, real-time video resulting in higher sales.

Streaming at Scale

Brands can sell more goods if more people watch their streaming event. However, maintaining scalability and high-quality broadcasts is difficult.That’s why the majority of streaming platforms offer either of the two. But if you choose to use Vimmi’s technology, you’ll enjoy both.

Omnichannel Streaming to Social Media

You can use Vimmi to perform live shopping events on your own website while concurrently stream the events to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. 

In addition, Vimmi also helps onboard offline retailers ready to start selling online, offers analytics to gain deeper customer insights and interaction, and other benefits.

If you want to start live commerce, the time is now. Let us be your partner in growth and help you run a successful and profitable live commerce.

Talk to us today!